Intuitive Surgical is the global market leader in robotic surgery. The company gained its market dominance by developing a robotic surgical system called the “da Vinci” which has been approved for use by the FDA since the year 2000. The da Vinci Surgical System is a computer-assisted device designed to facilitate surgery using a minimally invasive approach. The da Vinci robot is used in several medical specialties and for multiple indications. Most commonly it is used by obstetricians and urologists in performing laparoscopic hysterectomies and prostatectomies, respectively.
As of September 2013, there were 2042 da Vinci robots being utilized hospitals across the United States. The robot has gained significant traction in these hospitals by promoting the manufacturer’s promise of a shorter hospital stay, fewer complications, and a faster recovery. However, as the da Vinci robot gains in popularity, the FDA warned that an increasing number of adverse events have been associated with the device, including perforations, lacerations, tears, and electrical burns of surrounding organs leading to thousands of patient injuries and well over 100 deaths.